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Why This Global Innovator “Sticks with” Continuant 


Heading out on the ski slopes? Chances are, you’ll be putting on gloves or a jacket lined with Thinsulate® insulation. Wrapping a gift? Bring on the Scotch® cellophane tape!  If you’re prepping a wood surface, protecting the furniture from spills, or leaving someone a note on the fridge, chances are, you’re using one of 3M’s 60,000 products. Communication systems can be difficult to maintain for companies like 3M. It needs a partner it can rely on to provide consistent quality service anytime, anywhere. 

3M Building Image

The Challenge

  • Multiple systems in 146 different locations across the globe 
  • High costs to maintain  
  • Multiple vendors to juggle 

The Solution

  • On-site and remote support for all Avaya, Nortel, and Siemens systems 
  • Single point of contact for all issues in all locations 
  • Guidance for future transition to the cloud 

The Story

Officially known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., 3M (NYSE: MMM) has built an empire around turning adversity into a multi-billion enterprise that posted 2015 sales of US $30.27 Billion, and a ranking of #93 on the Fortune 500 list. 

When the company opened its doors in 1902 on the North Shore of Lake Superior, its founders mistakenly thought they had found a location for a sought-after mineral known as corundum, which could be used as an abrasive in the new industrial economy. The problem, however, was that there was no corundum to be found along the shore, but rather a useless mineral known as anorthosite. While such costly mistakes might have doomed a lesser company, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing was undaunted and, after securing strong financial backing, eventually (in 2010) found a better source of the valuable abrasives it sought and moved its plant from nearby Duluth to St. Paul. The rest is the stuff of legends. 

Since then, 3M has expanded into the titan of industry it is today, but this growth has not come without its downsides. To communicate between its 146 different locations across the world, 3M used systems from a variety of different vendors, from Avaya, to Siemens and Nortel. 

This meant it at least had three different points of contact to deal with, which made getting support for its systems far more difficult than it should have been. What 3M needed was a single point of contact that could lessen the hassle and the cost that came from managing a system like this. 

Searching for such a solution led the company to Continuant in 2004. Able to provide on-site and remote support for all systems from each of the three vendors, Continuant became 3M’s trusted communication partner. 3M can rely on Continuant to save them time, money, and energy by being its single point of contact, regardless of location. 

This relationship has persisted to this day. As 3M moves away from its legacy systems, Continuant continues to lend a hand in moving the company toward a cloud-based solution. This is certainly no small feat, but with two innovators working together, it’s sure to be accomplished in the years to come. 

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